Pedilanthus bracteatus

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Pedilanthus bracteatus

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Pedilanthus bracteatus, commonly called “Tall slipper plant”, is a plant with green cylindrical stems and widely spaced leaves which grow up to 4 inches long. It is a nice vertical plant that grows to around 7 feet tall that is attractive in cactus, succulent and xeriscape gardens, and is also very impressive in a large container.

During the cold season, Pedilanthus bracteatus loses its leaves and is a mass of green stems. In spring through fall,  it produces odd flowers which are sandwiched between rounded red bracts. The pale yellow-green flowers, termed “cyathia” by botanists, are specialized structures unique to Euphorbaceae and their close relatives. Many parts of this plant are covered with small hairs, and its milky sap can irritate the skin.

Tall slipper plant is believed to be auspicious in some Asian cultures. It is easy to grow and requires minimal care. It prefers well-drained sandy soils. Pedilanthus bracteatus flowers attract birds, butterflies and bees.

Maintenance includes trimming away branches that lay down. The removed branches can be left to dry in the sun or placed in containers and propagated. Care must be taken not to get very much white milky latex on your hands. Wear goggles and gloves. Any dried latex on hands can be cleaned off with a jelly type of engine cleaner or acetone. There are also several related species, one of which is Pedilanthus macrocarpus. Pedilanthus Bracteatus has very green stems whereas macrocarpus has light blue-grey-silvery stems.

Horticultural Data

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Names and Synonyms: Euphorbia bracteata, Candelilla cyathia
Common Names: Tall Slipper Plant, Slipper Spurge, Candelilla, Little Bird Flower
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Origin: Originates from dry deciduous woodlands in Mexico from Sonora to Guerrero.
Height: 4-8′
Width: 3-4′
Cold Tolerance: 20 to 25°F, -6.7 to -3.9°C
Heat Tolerance: Extreme heat tolerance.
Light Requirement: Full sun to very light shade and can take reflected light as well.
Water needs: Very drought tolerant but can take regular water during hot summers.
Maintenance: Maintenance includes trimming away branches that lay down to keep it upright. The removed branches can be left to dry in the sun or placed in containers and propagated. Care must be taken not to get very much white milky latex on your hands. Wear goggles and gloves. Any dried latex on hands can be cleaned off with a jelly type of engine cleaner or acetone. There are also several related species, one of which is Pedilanthus macrocarpus. Bracteatus has very green stems whereas macrocarpus has light blue-grey-silvery stems.
Uses: A nice vertical plant that grows to around 7 feet tall that is attractive in cactus, succulent and xeriscape gardens, and is also very impressive in a large container.
Propagation: This plant can be propagated from seed or stem cuttings.
Problems: None
Research Links:

http://smgrowers.com/products/plants/plantdisplay.asp?plant_id=3272
http://www.ruthbancroftgarden.org/rbgarden/pages/PlantHighl2013Dec.html
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/167629/
http://www.jaycjayc.com/euphorbia-bracteata-little-bird-flower/

Shipping & Availability

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There is a minimum purchase of any 4 plants for online orders. All plants shipped bare root. Other sizes may be available for pick up from our growing grounds in Fallbrook, CA. For more information, give us a call at 760-990-4762.
Click here for complete Price List.